Never too Early for another Showdown: Williams vs. Cintron, May 8
By Coach Tim Walker: Floyd Mayweather Junior vs. Shane Mosley is firmly in the books. It was a great fight and it was good for boxing, but there comes a time when we must move on and look forward to the next challenge.
Article posted on 05.05.2010
The next significant fight on the books is a 12 rounds or less light middleweight non-title fight between Paul "The Punisher" Williams and Kermit "The Killer" Cintron. Ironically, these fighters are considered by many to be the two top light middleweights and neither has a title. This fight is not major in the sense of super big names, but it could be in the sense of the winner possibly being the next opponent for Mayweather, or possibly even Mosley, if Mosley chooses to play the role of gatekeeper and force the young studs to go through him to get to Mayweather. In a previous Eastside article, both Williams and Cintron chose Mosley to beat Mayweather. Williams calling for the outright knockout, while Cintron, speaking a bit more conservatively, figured Mosley to win by majority decision. They were both, obviously, very wrong as Mayweather simply dominated Mosley..
Williams (38-1, 27 KOs) routinely makes the point that elite fighters are afraid to meet him in the squared circle. I think there might be a portion of truth to this. However, what he habitually fails to recognize is that his status and crossover appeal hasn't excelled to the point where matching him is worth the risk for most elite fighters. I don't mean risk in the sense of being knocked out, I'm referring to risk in terms of guaranteed gate sales. Some of you may say, "That's crap Coach!" But, if you look at it honestly, isn't that one of the defining principles behind promoter's decisions to match fighters? Butts in the seats, and sponsor checks in the bank? Williams has the skill to go toe to toe with anyone from 147-160, but he hasn't developed his personality to go along with those skills. He's a boxer but he's not a super star or even a regular star in the making.
Williams appears, sounds and feels like a kid from the block. That isn't a bad thing because he seems like a nice guy, but until his team addresses his star appeal it will be extremely difficult for him to take that next step of popularity, and thereby extremely difficult for him to influence elite fighters to meet him in the ring. Whether he knows it or not, he will need cross-over popularity if he wants to enter the bigger market fights. You're probably thinking, "Wow Coach, aren't you being a bit hard on the kid?" Maybe I am, but Williams has the skill to compete and be dominant at the elite level and I expect him to do so. He is likened to a modern day Tommy Hearns and his team should prepare him as an elite personality outside the ring to compliment his skill.
Cintron (32-2-1, 28 KOs) is more of a quagmire. He's a hard predicament to figure. He's a dilemma in a 5'11" body with decent power. I really like Kermit, but I don't always know what I'm getting when he mounts the apron. Against Sergio Martinez he fought a lackluster battle where most of what he did was stood in the middle of the ring and allowed Martinez to circle him. Even after the knockdown debacle in round 7 he still allowed Martinez to circle him. The fight would have resulted in a loss, as opposed to a draw, had it not been for a Martinez point deduction. One fight later, against hot prospect Alfredo Angulo, where Cintron wasn't universally favored, he dominated early and did take the win. However, his conditioning faded in the second half of the fight and he barely held on to earn a unanimous decision. One fight after that he faced another prospect, Juliano Ramos (16-3), and after a 4th round knockdown Ramos retired on his stool as a result of the pounding Cintron inflicted.
Cintron seems more ready than Williams, possibly from a physical appeal and svelte point of view, but seems less seasoned from a boxing standpoint. "Ah, Coach you're being too hard! Again!" Okay, he doesn't cut off the ring well, he doesn't jab well, he reaches with punches from distance and he's a bit easy to hit. Get the point? A lot of that is attributed to his late start in boxing. Still, these things are innate to his boxing style.
Which brings us to the point. Who wins the clash between Williams and Cintron?
Cintron hits hard but I don't think he necessarily hits harder than Williams. I especially don't think he hits hard enough to discourage Williams or take him out of his game plan. Cintron has also shown a propensity to be outworked and out-thought. He can be floored and fades in the later rounds. Williams, on the other hand, is a more tenacious puncher, in great condition and has a good set of whiskers on him. In addition to that I think Williams has more versatility and a higher ring IQ. I'm thinking this fight will be a unanimous decision win for Williams with a greater than slight possibility of a stoppage in the later rounds. If Williams wins does he end up in the ring with Mayweather? Short answer, no.
Coach Tim Walker is a contributing writer for Eastsideboxing.com and his own personal blog at boxing4life.blogspot.com welcomes comments. To suggest fighters for Monthly Stud and The Project please email firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome questions or comments.
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